When people talk about the minor league prospects in the Cleveland Indians organization, they mostly discuss a small number of players. Names such as Francisco Lindor, LeVon Washington and Chen Lee are the some of the most usual suspects.
While those names are exciting to talk about, there are just as many intriguing prospects that are very rarely mentioned.
Here are five of those rarely mentioned prospects that fans of the Tribe should be excited about.
RHP Cody Allen (2012 stats thru 17 games: 1-1, 2.39 ERA, 26.1 IP, 33 K)
Right-handed relief pitcher Cody Allen is one of the most talented pitching prospects in the Cleveland organization. However, his name almost never comes up when talking about Tribe prospects.
He was drafted by the Indians in the 23rd round of the 2011 June First-Year Player draft. He played college baseball at High Point University.
In his first year in the organization, Allen worked his way up from Cleveland's low-level Single-A team up to their Double-A team. He made an even more impressive ascension this season by climbing from High-A ball all the way up to Triple-A.
If he can continue to strike people out at his current rate, he could be on the major league team before anyone has ever even heard of him.
DH/OF Jeremie Tice (2012 stats thru 42 games: .306 AVG, 11 HR, 45 RBI, 1.034 OPS)
Right-handed hitting outfielder/DH Jeremie Tice has been putting up impressive numbers on the Indians High-A team so far this season. He has shown a good balance of hitting for power and hitting for average. However, his name is seldom brought up when discussing future Tribe stars.
Tice was drafted in the 2008 First-Year Player draft in the sixth round. He was chosen out of the College of Charleston. He was previously selected by the Florida Marlins in 2006 but did not sign.
During the 2010 season, Tice ranked third among all Indians minor league players in RBI by driving in 79 runs.
If he can continue to swing the bat well as he advances through the organization, he should be wearing a Tribe uniform at the major league level in a few years.
RHP Steven Wright (2012 stats thru nine starts: 4-2, 1.72 ERA, 52.1 IP, 48 K)
Starting pitcher Steven Wright might not be considered a prospect by some because of his age. At 28 years old and only at the Double-A level, Wright might just be a late bloomer. His numbers so far this season have been unarguable impressive.
Wright was drafted in the second round of the 2006 First-Year Player draft. He attended the University of Hawaii. In the 2008 season, Wright finished second among all Cleveland minor league pitchers in innings pitched, fourth in ERA and fourth in strikeouts.
With some of the pitching prospects at Triple-A finally getting the call to the big leagues, Wright may soon get his chance at that level. If he can continue to pitch in Triple-A the way he has so far this year in Double-A, then Wright just may earn his way into the Indians major league rotation.
LHP T.J. House (2012 stats thru 10 starts: 6-1, 2.24 ERA, 60.1 IP, 54 K)
Starting pitcher T.J. House is another player in the Tribe's minor league system that does not garner much attention. However, the big left-handed pitcher has begun to show why the Indians chose him right out of Memorial High School in Picayune, Mississippi in the 16th round of the 2008 First-Year Player draft.
Even with the departure of Alex White and Drew Pomeranz in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, T.J. House is one of the reasons Cleveland still has a deep starting pitching pool in the farm system.
1B Jesus Aguilar (2012 stats thru 50 games: .310 AVG, 5 HR, 25 RBI, .391 OBP)
Right-handed hitting first baseman Jesus Aguilar is one of Cleveland's best power-hitting prospects. At 6'3" and 257 pounds, Aguilar has the potential to someday become the power hitter from the right side of the plate that the Indians have been searching for for the past several years.
Aguilar was signed by the Indians as a non-drafted free agent in 2007. His best season came in 2011 when he was near the top of the farm system in several offensive categories. He finished last season ranked first in RBI with 82, second in home runs with 23 and third in hits with 131.
Although he is still playing Single-A ball, Aguilar should finish the season in Double-A. Aguilar will turn 22 at the end of June, so he still has plenty of time to continue to develop his dangerous bat.
While the top prospects in the minor league system might have the best chance to make an impact at the major league level, these five players definitely should start making their way onto the radar of both the Indians organization and fans alike.
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All stats courtesy of MiLB.com.
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